Interview with Exciter Guitarist John Ricci By Jesse Striewski

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When it comes to Canadian metal bands, several names tend to come to mind; Annihilator, Anvil, and  Razor are just some of the usual suspects one might point to. But few match the intensity of speed metal originators Exciter, who have been going strong since 1978.

After several years with founding guitarist John Ricci solely at the helm through various shifting lineups, the original incarnation consisting of Ricci, vocalist/drummer Dan Beehler, and bassist Allan Johnson, finally reunited again in 2014. Ricci recently spoke to Rewind It Magazine to help shed some light on just how exactly said reunion transpired, as well as what’s in store for the guys.

After the previous lineup’s not-so-pretty split in 2013, Ricci says he was unsure what the future held for him in music. But after some brief contemplation, he was ready to give it another go. “I was really stressed out and didn’t want to deal with any more musicians for awhile, but after about a week I decided to get back with the original guys. After all, the original lineup is responsible for the band’s recognition and success.”

Fans have been more than willing to accept Beehler and Johnson back into the fold, and can expect to still hear all the tracks from the band’s ‘classic’ era live. With the exception of the Kill After Kill album, they’re sticking to only the material written and recorded by the three original members. “We decided to do it this way because it represents the true originality and sound that we are known for, and feel that’s what the fans want to hear.” You can be sure to hear such staples as “Heavy Metal Maniac” and “Violence and Force” still found in their set lists, which Ricci says are two anthems fans still go crazy for.

Speaking of the band’s live sets, Exciter already have several shows booked for 2018. Coming up rather quickly, they’ll be playing Le National in their home country Canada on April 7. Then in June they’ll be playing the massive Strikefest in Los Angeles, CA with a host of other great metal bands. They also have a number of dates set up overseas by summer’s end in Germany and Singapore this August. Be sure to check their official sight at to see if and when any future dates are added.

As far as the future of Exciter goes, Ricci assures me a new album is definitely in the works. “We hope to write another classic record like our first album, Heavy Metal Manic. This will be quite a challenge, but we’ve set a goal to deliver the same high-energy, ripping metal we’re known for. As soon as we feel ready to start recording it will happen, otherwise we’re not rushing to finish a new album. But the wait will be worth it!”


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